Experts have called on insurance companies as well as brokers to adopt information technology (IT) in their business processes to have a huge impact on the economy.
Experts, who spoke at the 60th Anniversary Grand Ball and Honor Night of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) in Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday, noted that through technology, the abyssal level of insurance penetration will certainly improve.
Chairman of Zenith General Insurance Company Limited, Dr Jim Ovia, said technology ensures that information sharing in the insurance industry is transparent and integrated into the underwriting process, while tending to reduce risk. fraud (claims settlement) and the cost of operations.
Believing that the adoption of technology improves consumer confidence in insurance companies, he added that technology is just as crucial in the development of insurance products as it is in the brokerage fraternity.
Speaking on the role of brokers in the insurance industry value chain, he said there are more than 500 registered insurance brokers who collectively control the market, with input from 52% to gross premium income (GPI).
Nigerian insurance brokers, he said, also tend to charge higher commissions than those achievable in other African countries, even though the broker market in Europe accounts for 20-45% of gross premiums.
Due to brokers’ monopoly in the insurance industry, he said, many brokers take advantage of this monopoly power which has led to mismatching rates and premiums for the coverage requested, on terms general inadequacy as well as the absence or delays in providing documentation and information and coercion to make ex gratia payments.
All of these issues, he said, need to be addressed in the future, saying the adoption of technology can address some of these unhealthy practices, thereby making insurance brokerage and underwriting transparent and efficient.
For his part, NCRIB Chairman, Lawyer Rotimi Edu pointed out that technology plays a central role in different aspects of modern society and life, from basic routine tasks to heavy responsibilities, although it too plays a crucial role in business processes.